On November 8, the world will recognize the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, the superstorm that devastated much of the Philippines and claimed 6,300 lives. 1000 people are still reported missing.
It’s difficult to believe that it has already been a year since we were stunned by the horrific photos that raced across the wires of bloated bodies lining the streets, people sitting listless in the middle of rubble, and a huge ship in the middle of Tacloban City. While Haiyan is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines, the 7100 islands country experiences 19 typhoons every year.
Next Monday I will head to the Philippines along with Social Good Mom and Global Team of 200 member Jeana Shandraw with our partner World Vision USA to see their recovery work on the ground since Haiyan hit the islands last year. We will see devastated areas that are a part of a “no build’ zone, community savings groups that have helped families rebuild, child trafficking protection programs funded by USAID, health centers, and area development programs. On November 8 we will attend a one-year anniversary vigil.
If you follow my work you know I travel often to see NGOs work on the ground. This will be my first time traveling with and seeing World Vision’s work and am interested to report on its recovery efforts in the Philippines. To date, World Vision has reached 760,000 people with a goal of reaching 1 million beneficiaries. World Vision has also provided 51,000 temporary shelter kits and is working with the government to ensure homes are built in safer areas among a long list of recovery services it provides.
For the next month 100 of our members will become Toxin Freedom Fighters as they spread the word through blogs and social media about the need to update and reform the Toxic Chemicals Control Act of 1976. In 1976 60,000 chemicals were grandfathered in and since then 20,000 new chemicals have been added, but fewer than 10,000 of them have ever been tested.
Seventh Generation is calling upon concerned citizens to sign a petition that will be delivered to Congress on April 30, 2014 to show strength of will that lawmakers should re-evaluate the Toxic Chemicals Control Act for the first time since 1976. 100,000 signatures are needed on FightToxins.com to make a notable difference. Seventh Generation is calling upon Congress to require that chemicals should be tested, not arbitrarily put into our household products and foods and beverages. In order for a chemical to be tested it must be deemed an “unreasonable risk” to public health or the environment before it can be regulated by law.
Typically when we think of global development we focus on everything that is wrong because the challenges are so great. Rarely are the successes celebrated because with every move towards a goal there is still so much to do.
Today we are featuring those stories that have been more about success than failure; more about moving forward than moving backward even if the net result only makes a small dent in the overall scheme of things.
If you have ever headed north on I-65 in Indiana chances are you have seen the large wind farms along the highway. The Department of Energy, through its Windpowering America Initiative has set a goal of providing 5% of all electricity in the United States by 2020 through wind power.
It’s quite interesting how individual homeowners and towns are generating wind power for renewable electricity and to cut down on costs. Rural towns, in particular, are greatly benefiting from wind power by not only generating electricity, but also by providing jobs for those who need them through a growing green jobs industry.
Looking towards the next generation there are also robust programs to educate children about the power of wind energy by creating the Winds for Schools Project. This project allows rural schools to erect wind turbines to generate energy as well as use it as a teaching tool for students.